Children draw landfill line in the sand

They say photographing children and animals with some sense of order is almost impossible.

But Brighton resident Sasha Turner says it is still "way easier" than convincing local government that putting a landfill near Brighton is a bad idea.

More than 100 pupils from Big Rock School and Little Rock Preschool gathered with local residents and iwi on Brighton Beach yesterday to send a message, loud and clear, that they did not want a landfill in their back yard.

Mrs Turner said the protest was organised because the community was increasingly upset about the Dunedin City Council’s plan for a new landfill at Smooth Hill, above Brighton.

A branch of Otokia Creek, which flows to the coast at Brighton Beach, originates within the proposed landfill site where the council has applied for resource consent for the six million cubic metre landfill.

Pupils from Big Rock School and Little Rock Preschool gather with local residents and iwi on...
Pupils from Big Rock School and Little Rock Preschool gather with local residents and iwi on Brighton Beach to protest the Dunedin City Council’s plan to build a new landfill at Smooth Hill. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Leachate from the landfill could contaminate the creek and the beach, which are popular swimming areas for Dunedin residents, she said.

"We feel really let down by the DCC. This landfill should not be going ahead. It’s a ludicrous location for it.

"This here is Dunedin’s No1 playground in the summer."

Big Rock School principal David Grant said locals were angry and frustrated.

"I honestly feel that the decision is ridiculous. It feels a bit sneaky. I thought we had a green mayor.

"People are really angry and frustrated.

"This is a beautiful part of the city - it’s one of the few playgrounds that families come to visit, and they’re taking the chance of ruining it.

"Why would you do that?"

Mrs Turner said the proposed landfill would affect many generations to come.

"It’s our job to speak up now and protect the sanctuary that is here, to love and nurture the environment and enhance what is here.

"A landfill would destroy what we are fighting to protect, and leave an ugly footprint for the environment’s future.

"This landfill is simply not OK."

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